The Caterpillar Foundation Joins the Fight Against Breast Cancer in Latin America

Today we are very excited to announce we have joined forces with the Caterpillar Foundation in a $2 million, three-year partnership to increase breast cancer awareness and improve screening and early detection outcomes in low-resource communities in Latin America. This isn’t something to be taken lightly- this is the largest gift from a single foundation ever awarded to us in three decades!

The partnership will award grants to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to establish and further develop comprehensive early detection programs with the goal of increasing breast cancer screening rates in Monterrey, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Panama City, Panama. In Latin America, more than 70% of cancers are diagnosed when the disease is very advanced, and cancer is stigmatized and viewed as a ‘death sentence.’ The Caterpillar Foundation’s generous support gives us a unique opportunity to help fund critical programs that will ultimately save lives.

In keeping with our philosophy of building on existing infrastructure, each of these communities was chosen because they already had screening services in place, and we have already laid the foundation through our Course for the Cure™ program to scale-up screening efforts through community assessment and grassroots training initiatives. One of the key components of the Course for the Cure training program is the community assessment model, which identifies screening gaps and unmet needs within each community in an effort to better understand and define each region’s priorities and objectives for future action. These gaps guide the development of new, evidence-based community programs that improve local breast health outcomes.

The grants will support public awareness campaigns, breast self-awareness training, training for medical practitioners and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, our Global Initiative staff will support sustainability by convening community roundtables to develop guidelines for effective screening policies, increase screening resources for uninsured, poor and/or rural women and by conducting training workshops in coordination with the community roundtables. Stay tuned because the first round of grant recipients will be announced this summer!

Recognizing the growing global impact of breast cancer, the shared challenges among countries worldwide, and the value of coordinated advocacy in the battle against this disease, we began exploring outreach outside the U.S. in 1999. We have provided more than $27 million in funding for international breast cancer research and more than $17 million for international community education and outreach programs in more than 50 countries.

This support gives us a unique opportunity to truly make a life-saving impact for thousands of women and men in communities throughout Latin America.

Read the official press release here.

About the author

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Susan G. Komen has written 278 articles for Susan G. Komen® | Blog

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

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